Sona: ‘Great progress’ made bringing state capture culprits to book

The South African government will introduce measures to strengthen its anti-corruption agencies, protect whistleblowers, and prevent the undue influence of public representatives in procurement.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. He said this in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night at a joint sitting of parliament at Cape Town City Hall.

Ramaphosa said “great progress” has been made in bringing those responsible for state capture to justice.

Stolen funds recovered

“More than 200 accused persons are being prosecuted. More are under investigation. Stolen funds are being recovered. Freezing orders of R14 billion have been granted to the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit for state capture-related cases. Around R8.6 billion in corrupt proceeds have been returned to the state. A restored and revitalised Sars has collected R4.8 billion in unpaid taxes as a result of the evidence presented. The Special Investigating Unit has instituted civil litigation to the value of R64 billion,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the government has taken steps to strengthen its ability to prevent money laundering and fraud. To also secure our removal from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force. These steps include new legislation.

New measures to prevent fraud and corruption

“With the assistance of business, we have set up a digital forensic capability to support the NPA Investigating Directorate. In due course, it will be expanded to support law enforcement more broadly. Legislation is currently before parliament to establish the Investigating Directorate as a permanent entity with full investigating powers. But there is much more work to be done to eradicate corruption completely. Based on the recommendations of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, we are determined to introduce further measures. To strengthen our anti-corruption agencies and protect whistleblowers.

“[We plan to] regulate lobbying and prevent the undue influence of public representatives in procurement. This will not stop until every person responsible for corruption is held to account. [The process] will not stop until all stolen money has been recovered. We will not stop until corruption is history,” said Ramaphosa.

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